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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Tuesday - June 11, 2013

From: N. Falmouth, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Damage to Pine Tree on Cape Cod, MA
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My pine tree on Cape Cod has bark that is perforated with holes covering the entire tree. Bark can be removed by hand. Looks dead. What did this?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is sitting down here in Texas thinking; pine tree with holes in the bark------ could it be a pine bark beetle?

This link to University of Massachusetts tells about several “conifer bark beetles” that could be causing the damage that you describe. This Garden Web forum discusses a situation similar to yours occurring on the Cape that may prove helpful.

What you really need is to have a knowledgeable person take a look at your tree and diagnose the problem. You might find such a person at the Barnstable County offices  of UMass Extension.

 

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